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Third House speaker vote set for Friday morning, says Jordan's office

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Where House speaker vote stands after Jim Jordan switches gears 04:13

Washington — GOP Rep. Jim Jordan's office said the third round of voting for House speaker will take place Friday morning at 10 a.m., and two hours earlier, at 8 a.m., Jordan will be holding a news conference.  

The Ohio Republican is pressing on with his bid to become the next speaker of the House after a plan he supported to temporarily empower the interim speaker was met with opposition from his fellow GOP lawmakers on Thursday.

Republicans met on Capitol Hill to chart a path forward after Jordan fell short of the 217 votes needed to become speaker in the first two rounds of voting earlier in the week. Plans for a third vote Thursday were abandoned. Jordan told colleagues he would support a proposal to allow Speaker Pro Tempore Patrick McHenry to oversee the House until January while he remained in the race and tried to muster support.

But that idea was met with stiff opposition from dozens of GOP lawmakers and Jordan soon reversed course, saying he would instead move forward with another floor vote.

"We made the pitch to members on the resolution as a way to lower the temperature and get back to work. We decided that wasn't where we're going to go," he told reporters. "I'm still running for speaker and I plan to go to the floor and get the votes and win this race." 

The Ohio Republican said he wanted to "talk with the 20 individuals who voted against me so that we can move forward and begin to work for the American people." He met with the holdouts on Capitol Hill, and said the party is "trying to get unified as soon as we can." But there was no sign that he had changed any minds during the meeting. Rep. Carlos A. Giménez, one of Jordan's detractors, said he hasn't moved on his position. "We're still in the same spot. He doesn't have the votes to be speaker."


Jordan leaves meeting with GOP holdouts

Jordan left his office a short time ago and said he was on the way to talk to colleagues. As he exited, the Ohio Republican did not provide any update on timing for a vote. When CBS News asked him if his goal is to get to the floor on Thursday, he replied: "We're trying to get unified as soon as we can."

Jordan declined to comment after the meeting. But Rep. Carlos A. Giménez, one of Jordan's detractors, said he hasn't moved on his position. "We're still in the same spot. He doesn't have the votes to be speaker," he said.

— Nikole Killion and Jack Turman


Jordan says he'll move forward with another floor vote

After meeting with his fellow Republicans, Jordan told reporters he was abandoning the plan to empower McHenry and would press on with another vote on the House floor.

"We made the pitch to members on the resolution as a way to lower the temperature and get back to work. We decided that wasn't where we're going to go," he told reporters. 

Jordan said he is "still running for speaker and I plan to go to the floor and get the votes and win this race." He added that he wants to "talk with a few of my colleagues, particularly I want to talk with the 20 individuals who voted against me so that we can move forward and begin to work for the American people."

Rep. Jim Jordan walks through the halls at the U.S. Capitol on Oct. 19, 2023.
Rep. Jim Jordan walks through the halls at the U.S. Capitol on Oct. 19, 2023. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Reps. Matt Gaetz and Nicole Malliotakis predicted the House would reconvene for a third speaker's vote on Thursday.

"The bottom line is that there are 20 people against him. We need to figure out those 20 people, there's movement there, if there's the ability for them to be open to voting for him. I mean, that's the reality," Malliotakis said.

By Jack Turman

Tempers flare in GOP Conference meeting as opposition to McHenry plan grows

Tensions came to a head in Thursday's meeting of the House GOP Conference, and several Republicans leaving the meeting voiced their opposition to the plan to elevate McHenry in lieu of a permanent speaker. 

After about three hours, those exiting the room described the tone as "angry," with Wisconsin Republican Rep. Mike Gallagher muttering to reporters that he was heading to a chapel to get a rosary. 

Rep. Matt Gaetz, who was behind McCarthy's ouster earlier this month, confirmed he had a verbal confrontation with the former speaker during the meeting. Gaetz said McCarthy's "passions are a little inflamed."

"I think he's working through the stages of grief, and might be at the anger part," Gaetz said. 

The Florida Republican was asked about reports that Rep. Michael Bost lunged at him during the meeting. Gaetz said he didn't know if he would describe it as a lunge, but said Bost was pretty angry. 

Gaetz said he expressed that having a "speaker-lite" is a bad idea, referring to McHenry, and he's still supporting Jordan.

Multiple members said they opposed the idea of giving McHenry more power as the speaker drama plays out, with several telling CBS News that the proposal "is dead" and "will not come to the floor."

— Nikole Killion and Scott MacFarlane


Rep. Mike Gallagher: "I am not sure anyone can get 217"

GOP Rep. Mike Gallagher of Wisconsin said he wasn't sure any member could attract the 217 votes needed to become speaker of the House, and reiterated that he is not interested in running himself.

"I am not sure anyone can get 217. I mean, I've literally never, in my seven years in Congress, had a thought about becoming speaker of the House. I do national security and defense stuff," he said. "I've now had to attend conference for the first time all year [for] the last two weeks." 

Asked if he thinks Jordan should drop out of the running, Gallagher replied: "I think if he's not making progress and indeed he's hemorrhaging votes, then we need to go back to the drawing board."

By Alan He

Jordan plans to keep running until January

Jordan intends to keep running for speaker and try to shore up votes until January, according to a source familiar with his thinking. He remains the Republican nominee for speaker, and he is not dropping his bid. 

Asked by CBS News if he was going to pursue a new round of voting, Jordan replied, "We're still in this race, for sure."

But there will be no vote for House speaker on Thursday, two sources said. The Republican conference gathered to meet in the afternoon. Jordan has backed a plan to temporarily empower McHenry as speaker pro tempore until Jan. 3.

Jordan hinted Wednesday that he thought had more time to run when he noted that McCarthy "had a two-month runway" for his speaker bid — that is, the span between the internal vote to nominate McCarthy held after the November 2022 midterm elections and the formal vote that took place on the House floor at the start of the new Congress.

By Nikole Killion

What it means to "empower" the temporary speaker

McHenry became speaker pro tempore — or "for the time being" — when the seat was vacated by the vote to oust Kevin McCarthy on Oct. 3.

The Constitution says nothing about the authority of the House speaker or what happens when the position is vacant. The process for replacing the speaker is instead laid out in the House rules, a set of procedures and protocols adopted every two years at the beginning of a new Congress.

The relevant section governing a vacancy in the speakership is known as House Rule 1, Clause 8, and was first enacted to ensure the continuity of government in the wake of the 9/11 attacks. None of the provisions of the rule directly envision the situation the House currently finds itself in — that is, a vacancy prompted by a vote to remove the speaker, not illness or incapacitation — but the rule does offer some insight into McHenry's authority.

After McCarthy was elected, he drafted a secret list of names of members who should act in his stead should a vacancy arise, under a process established in Rule 1. McHenry was apparently at the top of that list and was designated to "act as" the speaker pro tempore.

The rule says this about McHenry's authority:

In the case of a vacancy in the Office of Speaker, the next Member on the list … shall act as Speaker pro tempore until the election of a Speaker or a Speaker pro tempore. Pending such election the Member acting as Speaker pro tempore may exercise such authorities of the Office of Speaker as may be necessary and appropriate to that end.

What exactly "that end" refers to — the election of a new speaker, or exercising the speaker's authorities — is subject to debate. McHenry and some scholars have interpreted it to mean that he can only take actions necessary to elect a permanent speaker. Others, including McCarthy, have said McHenry already has all the powers of a permanent speaker and doesn't need the approval of the House to exercise them.

In any event, McHenry's interpretation seems to have prevailed, and the House has the power to determine what happens next. The various proposals for empowering him would elect him speaker pro tempore outright, removing the "acting as" designation and allowing him to assume some of the powers of a permanent speaker, albeit for a short period of time. This would allow the House to resume normal business and begin taking up bills again. Jordan backs a plan to extend McHenry's authority until Jan. 3, and other proposals have different timeframes.

Whether such a plan could attract the support of a majority in the House remains to be seen. Many Republicans emerging from a conference meeting Thursday said they oppose such an arrangement, meaning it would require some level of support from Democrats, who are sure to demand concessions in exchange for their votes.

By Stefan Becket

Jordan will back empowering McHenry, two sources say

Jordan will support a plan circulating among House Republicans to temporarily empower Speaker Pro Tempore Patrick McHenry, according to two sources familiar with his plans. 

The decision is a tacit admission from Jordan that he is not currently able to secure the votes he needs, after losing 22 Republicans in the second round of voting Wednesday — two more Republicans than the first vote on Tuesday. 

The Washington Post first reported Jordan's plans. 

Michael Kaplan, Nikole Killion and Kathryn Watson


Jordan says death threats against lawmakers are "terrible" and "just wrong"

Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks, who voted for Rep. Kay Granger in the second ballot, said in a statement that since she cast that vote, she has "received credible death threats and a barrage of threatening calls." She added that she cannot support "a bully" and called for a consensus candidate to be the next speaker.

Jordan, asked Thursday by CBS News' Nikole Killion about the death threats Miller-Meeks and others have received, called the threats "terrible." 

"You know, there's no place for that for anyone," he said. "Look, it's just wrong." 

Killion noted some lawmakers have complained about Jordan allies, who have assailed the Republican holdouts, and asked if he'd tell his supporters to back down.

"I've said that many times — there's no place for that," Jordan replied.

In a tweet Wednesday, Jordan said he condemned "all threats against our colleagues." "Stop. It's abhorrent," he said.  

But Jordan, in his speaker bid, has been relying on right-wing groups he has long backed, and he's counted on the support of activists like Amy Kremer to win over undecided Republicans. Kremer, the chair of the pro-Trump group Women for America First, has been pressuring those voting against Jordan by urging her social media followers to call and show up at their offices. She advised followers Wednesday, "Start working now on finding legitimate challengers" to these Republicans."


Jordan indicates votes will happen Thursday afternoon

Jordan told CBS News there will be a vote Thursday afternoon, and indicated there will likely be a GOP conference meeting ahead of any potential vote. 

But plans can change quickly in the House, and it's not yet clear when a vote might take place. The House gavels in at noon. 

By Kathryn Watson

Jordan will continue to "bleed votes" with every ballot, says Rep. Ken Buck — "The Takeout"

Jordan will continue to "bleed votes" with each attempt to win the speaker's gavel, and Republicans should look to a temporary speakership to break the current impasse, so the House can move legislation to aid Israel and Ukraine and keep the government operating, said Rep. Ken Buck, Republican of Colorado.

"I think he bleeds three or four votes this next time, maybe a little bit more," Buck told "The Takeout" podcast this week.

"He started out with 20 (votes opposed). He's now down 22. I think he'll be down to 25, 26 if he goes to the floor again," Buck said.

The current floor chaos is "not a good image," and Buck says he does not see a clear path to electing a speaker.

But he did offer two possible outcomes: first, a "power-sharing" arrangement by which Majority Leader Steve Scalise, of Louisiana, becomes speaker and Jordan becomes majority leader. The second possibility he raised was a temporary speakership held by current Speaker pro tempore, Rep. Patrick McHenry, Republican of North Carolina.

Read more here.

By Major Garrett

Pressure campaign by Jordan allies extends to family members of holdouts

The wife of Republican Rep. Don Bacon of Nebraska, who declined to vote for Jordan on the first ballot, received text messages earlier this week over Bacon's vote for speaker. The Nebraska Republican backed McCarthy in both rounds of voting.

"Talk to your husband tell him to step up and be a leader and help the Republican Party get a speaker there's too much going on in the world for all this going on in Republican Party you guys take five steps forward and then turn around take 20 steps backwards no wonder our party always ends up getting screwed over," one of the messages read.

In another, the sender asks, "Why is your husband causing chaos by not supporting Jim Jordan? I thought he was a team player."

Bacon's wife responded in two messages, "Who is This???" and "Oh now you have nothing to say???"

The anonymous sender then wrote, "Your husband will not hold any political office ever again. What a disappoint [sic] and failure he is." 

Bacon's wife replied, "He has more courage than you. You won't put your name to your statements."

By Scott MacFarlane

Jordan holdouts push back on pressure campaign to change votes

GOP Reps. Kay Granger of Texas and Jen Kiggans of Virginia, who were among the Republicans who voted for someone other than Jordan during the two rounds of voting, separately said the ongoing pressure campaign being mounted by Jordan's allies will not sway them.

"Steve Scalise is an honorable man and has earned my vote for Speaker. This was a vote of conscience and I stayed true to my principles. Intimidation and threats will not change my position," Granger posted on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter.

Granger, who chairs the Appropriations Committee, cast both of her votes for Scalise.

Kiggans separately noted her experience as a helicopter pilot in the U.S. Navy and wrote on social media that "threats and intimidation tactics will not change my principles and values."

Kiggans supported McCarthy on the first two ballots.

By Melissa Quinn

The Republicans who voted against Jordan on the second ballot

Twenty-two Republicans voted against Jordan on Tuesday, with Jordan losing the support of four Republicans but gaining the support of two more. 

Reps. Vern Buchanan, Drew Ferguson, Mariannette Miller-Meeks and Pete Stauber all voted for Jordan on the first ballot but switched on the second to supporting someone else. 

Reps. Doug LaMalfa of California and Victoria Spartz of Virginia both flipped from other candidates to Jordan. Their changes, though, didn't help get Jordan closer to 217 votes, since he lost four more Republicans since Tuesday. 

Read more here


"All roads lead to McHenry"

Some House Republicans thought it was time to move on from Jordan Wednesday. One key Republican source texted this to CBS News' Robert Costa from the floor after the vote: "all roads lead to McHenry."

An unknown number of GOP House members, as well as some Democrats, would like to vote to expand the authority of Rep. Patrick McHenry, the speaker pro tempore. Any effort to empower McHenry would likely require support from Democrats. Some say they favor a vote to increase his authority to allow for consideration of a limited legislative agenda. House Democrats on Wednesday unanimously voted for their leader, Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, and would likely seek concessions in any agreement to back McHenry.

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